Posts for: January, 2019
While tooth decay is a potential problem at any age, the risk increases as you grow older. Not only are senior adults more susceptible, decay is often more difficult to treat. That’s because cavities can occur at or below the gum line, often due to gum recession.
If that’s the case, we won’t be able to fill the cavity in the usual way because the gum tissue is in the way. To make it possible to treat, we may need to perform a minor surgical procedure known as crown lengthening.
As the name implies, the procedure helps expose more of the crown, the tooth’s visible part, from the surrounding gum tissue. In basic terms, we’re repositioning the gum tissue away from the biting surface of a tooth to make room for a filling. It’s also useful for improving a tooth’s appearance by making it look longer, or creating room for a crown or other dental restoration.
After applying a local anesthesia, the dentist (or periodontist, a specialist in the gums) creates a tiny flap of gum tissue with a series of incisions. This allows the dentist to move the affected gums out of the way to access the underlying bone. The dentist then reshapes the bone to adequately support the gum tissue when it’s finally repositioned to expose the crown. In its new and improved position, the dentist sutures the gum tissue in place.
For a few days afterward, the patient will need to restrict their diet to soft foods, avoid strenuous activities and apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling the day of surgery. They will also prescribe a pain reliever and possibly an antibiotic to reduce the chances of infection.
While most people return to normal activities a few days later, you’ll usually have to wait a few weeks for the gums to heal before undergoing any further treatments for the affected teeth. But even with the wait, crown lengthening could make it possible to not only save your tooth but improve your smile as well.
If you would like more information on treating tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crown Lengthening: This Common Surgical Procedure Restores Function and Improves Appearance.”
For busy individuals, getting to the dentist for preventive care can be difficult. On the other hand, getting the entire family to the dentist can seem next to impossible when you factor in conflicting schedules and differing dental care needs. A family dentist offers the ideal answer for busy families by providing services to patients of all ages in a single practice. For those in Billerica, MA, Dr. Kunio Chan of One Dental Care offers this solution—read on to learn more!
Your Family Dentistry in Billerica, MA
There are a number of advantages to using a single dentist for the entire family. For instance, because a family dentist offers a broad range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services for patients of all ages in a single practice, families can save both time and money by scheduling preventive, routine treatments like check-ups and dental cleanups at times that work for the whole family. This collective care ensures that everyone keeps up with their oral health, preventing dental issues from turning into larger, more expensive problems.
Another advantage of a family dentist is a superior level of familiarity in the doctor/patient relationship. This personability can formulate amiable relationships which can help instill lifelong oral health and hygiene habits in children, as well as ease the dental anxiety and phobias that prevent tens of millions of Americans from getting the preventive care and treatment that they need every year. Furthermore, working with a family dentist keeps the entire family's dental records and history in one place, which can make it easier to monitor the progression and treatment of hereditary conditions that could potentially affect multiple members of the same family.
What is the Difference Between a Family Dentist and a General Dentist?
Family dentists are trained to treat patients of all ages, from children to geriatric patients, so unlike other dentists with similar training and credentials who only treat patients within a certain age range, family dentists provide services for everyone, including both babies whose first teeth have just erupted as well as senior citizens who are dealing with periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Interested? Call our Billerica Office Today!
For more information about preventive care and the benefits of having one dentist for the whole family, contact One Dental Care by calling (978) 667-0691 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chan today.